Sri Surjadas Sarekhela was a resident of Shaligram. He had five brothers – Damodar, Jagannath, Gauri das, Krsna das and Nrsimha Caitanya. His father’s name was Sri Kamsari Misra. His mother’s name, Sri Kamala devi. He received the title “Sarakhela” as he used to keep the accounts for the king of Gaur desh. His two daughters were named Sri Vasudha and Sri Jahnava, who was the youngest.
In Gaur-ganoddesh-dipika it is stated that they are the expansions of Baruni and Revati in Brindaban and Surjadas Sarakhela, whose body effulgence is like the sun, is an expansion of Kakudmir, the king of Raivat. The two Lords Gauranga and Nityananda were very affectionate to him. Seeing that his two daughters had reached the full bloom of their youth, he began to contemplate their marriage. Thinking in this way, he fell asleep and in his dream he saw that in a very happy mood he was presenting his two daughters to Nityananda Prabhu. Having seen such a wonderful dream, he began to float in an ocean of bliss.
In the morning when he awoke, he told his dream to one brahmana friend of his, “I saw in my dream that Nityananda Prabhu is none other than Baladeva. His bodily effulgence was shining in all directions and his body was decorated with various shining ornaments. On either side of him my two daughters appeared as Baruni and Revati. Now if I cannot give my daughters in marriage to Nityananda Prabhu then there will be no peace for me.” Having confided in his friend in this way, he sent him to the house of Srivas Pandit in Navadwip. That brahmana came to Navadwip very quickly and found that Nityananda Prabhu was living at Srivas Pandit’s house. The brahmana explained everything in detail to Srivas Pandit who later at the proper time divulged all of this news to Nityananda Prabhu. Lord Nityananda having assured the brahmana that he would fulfill the desire of Surja das, sent him back to Shaligram. Advaita Acarya as well as Srivas Pandit were very happy to have heard this news and urged that the marriage take place as soon as possible. The brahmana, in the meantime having returned to Shaligram, delivered this auspicious news to Surja das who was overjoyed that his dream would now come true.
In the village of Borgachi lived the son of Raja Hari Hora, Sri Krsna das, who was a very dear devotee of Nityanan¼da Prabhu. He offered to bear all of the expenses for the wedding and to have it conducted at his house. With this in mind he requested Nityananda Prabhu to kindly come to his house, and after bringing him there he began to make the necessary arrangements for the wedding. Srivas Pandit, Sri Advaita Acarya, Sri Candrasekhar, Sri Murari Gupta and many other devotees all arrived and began Harinam Sankirtan. Surja das Pandit’s brother, Sri Krsna das soon arrived at Bordachi and then Nityananda Prabhu and the other devotees accompanied Him to Shaligrama. When Surjadas saw that the devotees along with Nityananda Prabhu had arrived, in great happiness he came out to greet them and then ushered them into his house where he offered his dandavats to Lord Nityananda.
Surja das fell down at the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, his eyes brimming with tears of ecstatic love. He caught hold of His two lotus feet and wanted to offer some prayers but he could not express anything due to being overcome by ecstatic emotions. Lord Nityananda smiled sweetly and embraced him in great love. Surjadas was always absorbed in intense happiness. Who can understand his inner self.
Seeing these loving pastimes of his brother, Gauri das lost his patience and felt great bliss within himself. Then, after worshipping the two lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, he offered his two daughters in marriage to him.
Thus the marriage ceremony was very auspiciously performed and Nityananda Prabhu remained at Shalagram with his two newly wedded wives for a few days. Thereafter he came to Sri Krsna das’s house at Borgachi, where he remained for a couple of days. Next He came to Navadwip. Along with his two wives He offered His obeisances at the feet of Saci Mata. Saci Ma was extremely pleased to see them and she showed a great deal of affection to the new brides.
The other Vaishnavas also began to show them great affection. Then taking leave of Sacimata, Nityananda came to Advaita Acarya’s house in Santipur. Sri Sita Thakurani began to float in the ocean of bliss after seeing Vasudha and Jahnava devi. Taking them in her lap she was very affectionate to the new brides. After remaining there for a few days Nityananda Prabhu came to Uddharon Datta Thakur’s house at Saptagram at his insistent invitation. There they all engaged in a festival of sankirtan for a few days after which Nityananda Prabhu came to Khardaha. [Bhakti-Ratnakar 12th Taranga]
After the disappearance of Sri Advaita Acarya, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Srivas Pandit and various other associates of Sri Goursundar, three especially empowered manifestations of the compassion of the Lord, Mahaprabhu, namely Srinivas Acarya, Narottama Thakur Mahasay and Shyamananda Prabhu continued to flood the land with Hari Nam Sankirtan. Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s sakti Sri Jahnava Mata, was especially requested by these three Acaryas to be present at the celebrated festival which was conducted by them at Kheturigram, under the patronage of Narottama Thakur Mahasoy’s cousin, Raja Santosh Datta. Present with her were Sri Krsna das Misra (her uncle), Mineketan Ramdas, Murari Caitanya, Jnana das, Sri Paramesvari das, Balarama das, Sri Brindavan das Thakur, and other dear devotees of Lord Nityananda Prabhu.
First she came to her uncle Gauri das Pandit’s temple at Kalna where she was nicely received by Hrdoy Caitanya Prabhu. Here she cooked for the two Lords, Nitai-Gauranga, and in the evening they had a festival of sankirtan. When she came to Navadvip and realized that she wouldn’t be able to see Sri Saci Mata any more, she was very sad and cried. Then Sripati and Srinidhi came and took her to their house. But again she was plunged into grief due to the pangs of separation at not being able to see Srivas Pandit and Malini devi. At Santipur Sri Acyutananda and Gopal tried to
console her in the absence of Advaita Acarya and Sita Thakurani. Then she came by way of Kantak Nagar to Teliya Bhudari gram where Sri Govinda Kaviraj received her with all respect. The next day the party set out for Kheturi. When they reached the banks of the Padma river they found that Raja Santosh Datta had already made arrangements for crossing the river. From the opposite bank palanquins were waiting to take them to Kheturi.
After presiding over the festival of Kheturi, Ma Jahnava decided to go to Brindavan. One day when she was bathing in the Jamuna, a small black hand grabbed the end of her cloth as she was getting out of the water. When she looked, however, there was no one there. Then Gopinath spoke to her, “I want to come and stay with you. When you’re taking bath in the Ganga one day I’ll come and join you.”
After passing some days in great happiness in Sri Brindaban Dham, Sri Jahnava Mata set out on the path back to Gaurdesh. First she came to Kheturi, and then to Bhudari gram where she arranged the marriage of Bor Ganga das with Sri Hemalata, the daughter of Sri Shyamdas Cakravarti (brother of Bansi das). After the marriage, Sri Iswari entrusted the worship of Shyamsunderji to Borgangadas. Then she came to Ekcakra, the birthplace of her worshippable Lord. From there she passed through Kantak Nagar, Jajigram, Navadwip, Ambika kalna, Saptagram, before finally arriving back at Khardaha.
As she was bathing in the Ganges one day, something touched her body in the water. Then she lifted that object out of the water and beheld the enchanting form of Sri Gopinathji, while tears of love streamed from her eyes. This Deity is at present being worshipped by the descendant of Ganga devi, the daughter of Nityananda Prabhu, at Jirat, Hugli. There is a rail station at Jirat between Bandel and Kalna station. From the Jirat station one should proceed by rickshaw to “Gopinath Tala”.
“Having fallen into the ocean of material existence I am completely distraught and filled with anxiety. Floating in this ocean, without any refuge, I am trying to find a shore; but without any success, I am losing all hope of ever finding it. What activity will bring me there? or what knowledge will bring me there? Conducting some fruitive sacrifices, engaging in some mystic yoga process or conducting austerities – none of these have any power or effect. I am getting very weak and I cannot swim much longer. Now in this extremely dangerous situation, will no one come to save me? Alas! To make matters worse, having caught sight of the crocodile of worldly affairs, I am petrified with fear and the current of lust is always churning the water. I can barely keep my head above the water, the winds carrying the results of activities performed in previous lives, is blowing and making the water so choppy. I am losing my mind and now I am simply crying frantically. I can’t see anyone who can get me out of this ocean of woes. O my dear Sri Jahnava devi, please have compassion on your servant and bless me with some of your divine qualities. Please extend me the rope of your mercy and alleviate this intense pain that I am experiencing.
“I have taken shelter of the boat of your lotus feet and I have full faith that you can carry me across this ocean.
You are the divine energy of Lord Nityananda and the bestower of Krsna bhakti. Please bless me at your feet, which can bestow all one’s desires. You have already delivered so many despicable creatures, now today here is one more destitute and hateful wretch, come to your lotus feet.” [Kalyan Kalpataru]
Note: Special thanks to Jaya Tirtha Caran prabhu from NZ for allowing us to use some of the content from his site to compile these pages.